Flat Connections

Transforming learning through global collaboration

Honestly, I don't really get the "Flat Classroom" Concept!

I've been hanging around and actually enthusiastically reading about Flat Classrooms for awhile. I'm into it.  However, I found myself explaining the concept today to some people and I had to admit, I really don't fullly understand it.

Is Flat Classrooms basically a technology-driven movement to use tech to innovate and connect?  That's pretty  much how I explained it but, I don't see that sort of summary anywhere on the sites.  I did see this summary of activities in the brochure which is the best description that I've seen yet:

Projects for all levels of K-12 learning have emerged including
Flat Classroom® Project (The World is Flat concepts);
Digiteen Project (digital citizenship); Eracism Project (global
debating for cultural understanding); NetGenEd (emerging
technologies); A Week in the Life (Gr 3-5); Building Bridges
to Tomorrow (K-2). Our highly connected world gives
educators the global imperative to connect students and the
wider community.

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Comment by Julie Lindsay on December 17, 2012 at 6:05pm

Oh, and I must add of course that Vicki and I have registered Flat Classroom as a trademark, therefore to keep this we do not and cannot use the term in a typically generic way. So to say Flat Classroom in fact means to talk about our set of global projects and work. To say 'flattening the classroom' is the best way to talk generically about the concepts.

Comment by Julie Lindsay on December 17, 2012 at 4:14pm

Hi Sandra, thanks for your thoughts!

Also, the sideline for this Ning is 'Transforming learning through global collaboration'

Totally agree, we even have trouble explaining it sometimes. We do have further information on the About page of our website that may help. We also have a great page on our wiki portal called Flat Classroom Participants Speak Up, which I need to update (!). I guess the main reference is our book, Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds, and you can download Ch 1 and 2 from the website for free.

When I explain Flat Classroom I always say it is TWO things:

  1. A set of global collaborative projects that join students and teachers across the world in meaningful activities and co-creation.
  2. A pedagogy for teaching and learning that embeds flattened practices into everyday activities. The walls of the classroom are flattened by the teacher putting themselves and their class out there to the world and by inviting the world to be part of the learning of that class. In fact there are no walls, learning is flat, teacher-student, student-teacher, student-student. Resources are not blocked, Web 2.0 is used to support research, collaboration and co-creation, and learners are highly connected, contributors and learning entrepreneurs.

What do others think? We have many experienced Flat Classroom teachers on this Ning, I am interested in how they describe this.

Comment by Sandra Nelson on December 17, 2012 at 11:41am

OK, I'm going to comment on my own post. I just noticed the wording on the badge which is most tranchent and succinct description yet: "Fostering new ways of using Web 2.0 for global collaboration."

OK, that's easier to get my head around.  thanks 

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